by George Ella Lyon (Author), Peter Catalanotto (Illustrator)
Reading level: 1 – 4
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (December 23, 2008)
Now that’s what I’m talking about, a superb sleepy book for bedtime. Don’t miss this one!
The words to this lulling story, perfectly titled Sleepsong, frolic so gently off your tongue and rock your mind into a zen-like state of relaxation. The first time I read it, I was blown away by the effortless tempo — it felt like it should have music to it. Of course, by the time I made it to the last page I discovered that there was indeed music included so that readers could play or sing it — good thinking guys (well, gal and guy). The great news is that the music is simple enough for even a one-fingered piano-playing-bandit, like myself. If you haven’t guessed it by now, I really like this book — and the good news is that so does my daughter.
I was so taken with the words themselves that I actually missed what was going on with the A-mazing illustrations. At first glance they are warm and inviting pictures that tell the story of a regular bed time ritual. You know the kind: a playful chase to the bubble filled bath, followed by a story read by mom and dad, another playful chase to get under the covers, a nice tight tuck-in, and finally a slow drift into a dreamy night time slumber. At second glance they are still warm and inviting, but there is a whole corresponding story depicted at the bottom of each page. Shadowy images of animals yawning, snuggling and sleeping in their outdoor resting places are blended beautifully into the pages to truly send the message home:
“Everything nests ~ Shh Shh
Everything rests ~ Shh Shh …”
Link: Listen to George Ella sing her lullaby, “Sleepsong”.
Reviews by: Advice from a Caterpillar and Publishers Weekly.